Change is not always easy and transitioning to an open office floor plan can prove to be challenging for many businesses. This can be especially true for the more veteran members of your team. The benefits of open floor plan are clear and include reducing real estate costs while promoting transparency and collaboration. However, supporting your staff through this is transition is integral to its success. The experienced workforce is used to doing business behind closed doors and in private, so they may require more office organizing strategies to support them during the process. Here are some tips from this NYC Professional Office Organizer.
Challenge #1: Staying productive while handling noise and other distractions.
One of the biggest concerns for workers in this demographic is how to deal with the increased noise and distractions in an open office space. However, many people find they are motivated by those working around them and can remain focused despite the additional noise. Creating a set of guidelines for all those working in the open office space keeps everyone on the same page. You can include a clear protocol for conflict resolution and addressing vocal volume and music playing restrictions which can cause distractions.
Challenge #2: Communication and technology changes.
Technology advances have provided opportunities to those in today’s work place to utilize apps and tech tools for managing tasks and schedules. Though the learning curve for communication tools like Slack may be steep for some, there are advantages to getting on board. The objective, regardless of your knowledge base or preferences, is to be open to trying new tools that could improve your productivity. While there may be generational preferences for one type of
communication over another, the bottom line is to identify the best tool for a given situation and use it appropriately.
Challenge #3: Insufficient space for storage.
If you are used to private offices and cubicles that include plenty of storage space, transitioning to an open office with significantly less space can be difficult. This is the time to streamline, reduce all the excess that has been collecting dust and introduce new systems for managing your information and workflow. Encouragement and training on paperless systems will eliminate the need for filing space. In addition, you can still personalize your workspace so there’s more of a connection to it, which is a concept that should be encouraged to a certain degree.
Challenge #4: Loss of privacy.
This is one of the biggest obstacles that more experienced workers face as they are used to working alone and in private. Including private workspaces that can be utilized when someone needs a more quiet and focused work session can be beneficial. Including meeting spaces in your open office allows for smaller groups to get together in a private space. Also, including phone booths or smaller rooms allows for private phone calls where sensitive information may be divulged.
A significant benefit to open offices is the collaboration and increased communication between departments, between leadership levels, and across all generations in the workforce. Being able to share ideas and inspire each other, bringing different experiences and knowledge together, benefits everyone. For more office organizing strategies, reach out to this NYC Professional Office Organizer.